Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Channel 9 Prize.

Hi there,

Luck was on my side, and I have just won the Channel 9 Catch Of The Day prize.
What is it, you may ask.
Well it is a very simple kind of thing. You send a photograph of a recent fishing catch, in the landscape, or horizontal format to Channel Nine in darwin. With a few words to say what kind of fish it is and how or where you caught it. And if your photo is selected, it goes on television at the end of the news segment in the evening, during the weather forecast.
This is great way for Channel nine to interact with the Northern Territory community.
And in exchange, when your image is selected, you win a prize.
The email address to send your photo is: newsphotos@nine.com.au
Just put Catch of the day in the subject line, and Voilas!
If you live in the Northern Territory of Australia, you should do it, it is fun and if you have kids, this is an easy way to make them proud.

What is the prize?
  • A Channel 9 backpack.
  • A Channel 9 fishing hat.
  • A Channel 9 fishing shirt.
  • A Channel 9 branded Reidy's fishing lure.
  • A first aid kit from St. John Ambulance Australia.
Now, what photograph did I send to win all these cool stuff?
This one:

Queenfish from East Point.

You might remember this photograph and the short video that went with it, from my post called First Try At Kayak Fishing.
This first experience in a kayak had been great, and suddenly had become even better.

And here comes the prize:

The Catch Of The Day Prize, courtesy of Channel 9.

Of course, my favourite in all this is the Reidy's fishing lure:

Channel 9 branded Reidy's fishing lure.

The lure in question is a Judge by Reidy's lure.
I love both Reidy's and this particular lure in their range of offering.
And yes, I am still collecting fishing lures with advertising on them, So I am very happy to have this one. As I didn't had a Reidy's with Channel nine advertising on it before, in my little collection.
This also means that this lure is going directly to the "collectors cabinet", and will never swim.
I can already ear all the people that say that lures are made to catch fish and not to stay dry in a display...

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,
Me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

St-Croix Baitcaster Review

Hi there,

Here comes the first review I ever wrote about a fishing rod.
Why a review you may then ask...
Well because this is the best fishing rod that I am using at the moment, and as such totally deserved a review.
You might be wondering, what fishing rod are we talking about?
  • It is a St.Croix Premier/PC60MH
  • 6' Med-Heavy Power
  • Fast Action
  • SC''Graphite
  • 10-20lb. 3/8-1oz.

My first ever St.Croix

Yes this is the first St.Croix fishing rod that happened to be mine.
I won it last year as a prize in the 2014 Top End Barra Series, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Fishing and Outdoor World, a great fishing tackle shop in Darwin.
Yes it has been over six months since I won this fishing rod, and I am only doing a review now...
In fact, this is because such a large time frame has allowed me to test, and fish with this rod, in many places and conditions. And to really get a feel for it, something that I would not have had in a shorter amount of time.

I fished with my St.Croix in Darwin Harbour of course, from a boat and land based. Also on the Daly River, the Adelaide River, Bynoe Harbour, Shady Camp and Tommy Cut Creek.
It got me fishes in all of these places, fishing at different time of the year. Sometimes with hard body lures, divers or surface lures, sometimes with soft plastics, casting or trolling. Depending of the days and fishing spots, most of the different scenarios of Barramundi fishing have been meet with this rod. I even used it to fish with vibes lures, and it worked too.

Here it is at Bynoe Harbour:

St.Croix Premier/PC60MH

On my rod I have a Shimano Curado 201I reel, they go well together. It keep the combo relatively light in weight, and I have been able to fish, mostly flicking lures, all day long with it without fatigue.
Yet when a good fish takes your lure, the rod got all the energy necessary to load well and bring home the bacon.
Still you can flick very small soft plastic lures a good distance.

So do I like it?
Yes I do.
It even helped me to get my third biggest Barramundi so far:

My third biggest Barramundi.

At 95cm (37.401575 inches) it is what I personally consider a good Barramundi.
And it was my first good fish on this very fishing rod.

The only thing that bother me a little with this rod, is the size of the line guides. It should not be a problem for most fishermen and fisherwomen, but for me it is just a bit of a nagging concern.
I make big knots on my line, fishing with 30b braid and most of the time 50/60b leader. Slightly larger guides would be a great option. But realistically it is not that big of an issue.

So what are the pro of this rod from my point of view?
  • It is really light and will not get your arm tired half way through the day.
  • It is long enough to obtain great casting distance even with small lures.
  • It is strong enough to put the breaks on a good angry fish.
  • It has an excellent finish.
  • It is a St.Croix.

Fishing a TopEnd creek with my St.Croix.

Now would I recommend this rod to any of my fishing buddies?
Yes, without any hesitation, it has become my go to fishing rod, and now most of my mates have seen me use it. Some of them have even tried it, and loved it.

So I guess that the only problem about it really, is that I wanted a St.Croix for a long time and now I would love to have a few of them...

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,
Me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

First Try At Kayak Fishing

Hi there,

Yes last weekend, I had my first real try at fishing from a kayak.
And I loved it.
  • I fished from a Hobie Kayak.
  • The kayak belong to my friend Aaron.
  • We fished at East Point.
  • I used a DUO lure.
  • I made a short video about it.
  • It is a very exciting form of fishing.
Aaron had sent me a message, asking me if I wanted to go fishing from one of his kayak the following day. He just had a great morning fishing, and wanted to do it again the next day.
I love fishing, yet I was not too sure about doing it from a kayak. Above waters in which crocodiles and sharks are swimming.
Yet it is a long time since I had some fresh smoked fish, and the idea of it made me say yes.
We arranged to meet at 6:30 am at East Point, one of my favourite land based fishing spot in Darwin. With the day rising and the cold of the dry season on us, (it was actually on the coldest night/morning of the year so far). We started to get the two kayak ready, loaded with all the fishing gear that we would need, for just a quick trip on the water.
And just on sunrise we launched the two small embarkations, in direction of the fishing grounds.

Kayaking at sunrise.

This was at the same time beautiful and relaxing, but with a tiny edge of nervousness. I have many times seen crocodiles around there, and I was not overtly comfortable entering their territory, and being so close to the water at the same time.

Close to the water.

Fishing from the rocks on the water edge is one thing. But being literally sitting a few centimetres above it, is another.
Aaron told me that as soon as I would get a fish, I would be alright and forget all about it.
Well, it didn't take long, 19 minutes after launch, I was battling a Queenfish that had taken my lure. I know that it was only 19 minutes after launch, because I had turned my video camera on just as we were launching, and on the movie, the hit came in at 19 minutes on the dot.

We were fishing in close proximity of each other, as they said that there is safety in numbers.
When we saw a school of Queenfish, following and trying to take hold of Aaron lure.
As we both screamed about it, I immediately casted my lure toward the watery commotion and reeled in as fast as I could. To absolutely no results. Aaron did a second cast, and as he was retrieving his lure at high speed, I casted too. Just as I had casted my lure, who was still flying in the air, I saw once again the Queenfish having a go at his lure, and this time very close to his kayak.
I could only exclaim with a big Ah! Thinking that I may have now casted my lure way too far from the school of hungry fish to stand any chances to entice one of them to chew on my offering.
Yet, I still tried to get my lure in as fast as I could. And not far from the kayak, I first saw a fin tail, a bit of a boil in the water, and I could not reel in my lure anymore, it was being taken away from me at great speed.
I was on!

The fish didn't take long to make a nice little jump, and then I knew for sure that it was a Queenfish.

I think that I must have then started to shout and screamed like an over excited kid. Who has never fished before and has just caught his first fish ever.
Yes, sometimes when fishing, I can act a bit like a happy child...

Bringing in the Queenfish.

On the kayak in the background was Tristan, who had just arrived in time to see that the fish were there. This Queenfish wasn't one of the biggest ones. But it was healthy and gave a very good account of himself. Once it was near the kayak I was afraid that it would dive under and resurface on the other side. Luckily, it didn't happen. The little Queenfish was boated, photographed, and released.
Released, when I wanted to eat some fresh fish?
Well yes, it started so well, that I decided to wait for the next fish before I kept one...
Will I ever learn?
That was the only fish I caught on the day, and if I want to eat some fish this week, I will have to eat some frozen one...

Anyway, here is my little fish:

Queenfish caught from the kayak.

Yes, this is definitively a very exciting form of fishing, where you are in very close contact with mother nature. I was starting to love that.

Aaron for his part got a nice little Trevally, which he released too.

Aaron fishing from his kayak on Darwin harbour.

Aaron has now written a few magazine article about fishing from a kayak, and is a great advocate about it. His passion for it is contagious, and he has even talked about it on the local radio.
Thank you Aaron for inviting to fish from one of your kayak, this was a great morning session.

One of the funny thing about this fishing trip, is that in his messages Aaron had told me to take some popper and some skipping lure or stick bait.
Now, I have some popper, but don't have any skipping lures or stick bait. So what did I take with me?
A walk the dog lure, and used it as a stick bait, reeling it in very fast.
And it worked.
I had already caught smaller queenfish with that very lure, but using it as it should be, walking the dog. Just a bit faster than normal, but still walking the dog style. In fact I have caught Barramundi, Trevally, and Queenfish on this lure so far, so I really like it.
This is what it look like:

The DUO Realis Pencil 110.

And because you have been reading so far in this post, now you can see the little video of our morning fishing, from the kayak, like if you were seated in it:


Fishing from the kayak.

Yes, it is a short film of only four minutes, And I am definitively no Stanley Kubrick, I need to make a lot of progress in the video department, I know. But it is four minutes of angling bliss.
It would have been better if I had a film with more fishes in it.
So you would all get excited and would want to go and fish from a kayak too.

But hey,
it could be worse.
Have a good day,
Me.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Hooked-Up Boat Hire

Hi there,

I don't know if you remember, but I was very lucky to win a Hooked-Up Boat Hire for a full weekend.
Thanks to last year FFF Seadogs fishing competition. And yes, I am doing the comp again this year!

How was it?
You mean, the full weekend that I was able to spend fishing on a great boat?
It was really good, even if the fish played hard to get. But after all it is called fishing, not scooping...

So what did the boat look like?
It looked like that:

Brett launching the boat at Bynoe Harbour.

Yes, I had invited Brett to fish with me for the weekend.
Why Brett, who has a boat, some of you may ask...
Well, because Brett had been the first member of the FFF fishing forum to invite me to fish from his boat, a few years ago. And had since regularly invited me. So to me it was a way of saying thank you, for once that I was able to invite someone on a boat.
We picked up the boat in the afternoon of the Friday, which was great. Thank you to Peter the boss of Hooked-Up Boat Hire, for the great service and being so easy to deal with. The guy had a great Territorian attitude.

So to Bynoe we went, and the plan was to first chase some Mackerels and maybe some Tuna. Then a few Jewfish at the end of the day. To finish with some Barramundi on the Sunday, before going back to civilisation. What a plan! 
And this was our plan B. Because originally, we had made the plan to go for some big Barramundi at the mouth of the South Alligator river, where I have never been yet, to catch the big mamas.
But the forecast was bad, too much wind, so we decided on Bynoe, as another great plan.
Well, someone somewhere must have told the fish about it...
Because we could not find a single Tuna. 
One medium sized Mackerel hit Brett lure, and spat it, so no Mackerel in the boat...
By mid afternoon, it seemed a bit bleak and we started to wonder if we would find any fish...
Plan C: catch some reef fish...
Well, at the first drop, Brett got a good Golden snapper, that went straight to the esky.
That was it, we had found the fish!
Or so we thought...
Because after that, we got a few smaller fish, but nothing big enough to keep.

It was time then to try for the Jewfish part of plan B, and we sailed toward a jewfish spot.
Once again, first drop and Brett is on:

Brett fighting a strong fish.

I got excited, even a bit more than Brett who was fighting this obviously very strong fish.
I should have asked myself why that, but no, I did not...
And when he finally got the fish at the boat, I knew why: it was a big Catfish. Now I know that in some parts of the world, people actively target big Catfish. But here in the Northern Territory, they are more seen as a pest than anything else... To the extend that many fishermen/women, don't even want them in their boat. And this is what happened to this one, it was released at the side of the boat.
Brett, got another one, and started to tease me that I didn't get anything.
Then I got a nice little cod, which would have been perfect size to eat, but I released it. Too impatient to eat this big jewfish that I was going to catch...
What was that old saying? Don't count your chicken before you eggs have hatched, or something like that...
Well, I should have listen to common sense, and after the day we just had, I should have kept that cod...
Here comes the tale of my big Jewfish...
I had just dropped my bait to the bottom, less than five seconds on the floor of the ocean, when I started to feel a light tap on my line. I waited for a full 2 second before the rod buckled on itself and the line started to peel at great rate from my reel. Beauty I was on to a good fish!
But it didn't fight at the botton, it went straight for the surface. Brett had told me about Jewfish going directly on the anchor rope, but I was safe about this one, as we didn't put any anchor out. We were using the electric motor to keep us on the spot.
Well where did this fish go then? 
You have probably guessed by now, in about three second after being hooked, the fish had gone from the depths, to around the electric motor...
Brett didn't know if he should laugh or throw me overboard for letting such a rookie mistake happen. I quietly suggested that laughing seemed a much better thing to do, from my point of view...
Any way, Brett raised the electric motor got my line untangled, and the fish was still on and started to pull again.
Taking me all around the boat, this time I put my fishing rod deep under the water to avoid the outboard on the other side of the boat. And danced with this fish to finally find myself where it had all started a few minutes earlier. And the fish was still taking some good runs. But finally, I got it near the surface, and I saw it in all its glory. A magnificent Catfish was giving me a hard time at the end of my line, not a Jewfish...
Ha!
I un-hooked it, tried to not look too disappointed, as all along I had thought that it was a Jewfish.
Put another bait on and waited patiently.
The sun was setting, and it was a beautiful evening:

Sunset on Bynoe Harbour.

A beautiful evening, but with I think just one more of these big Catfish for Brett, and nothing at all for me.
It was time to find a creek to moor the boat for the night, and to get some food cooking.
Two big steak in the frypan, a pasta salad, and that was done.
I was more than exhausted and fell asleep in less time than it takes me to write it.
After sleeping like a log all night long, I finally woke up, with the day rising, and started to flick a surface lure in the semi obscurity, but alas for no success.

Rising day in a Bynoe Harbour's creek.

We moved to another little creek, where Brett had fished with success in the past.
And in this new creek, we did find some Barramundi.
First Brett got one from a snag, on a soft plastic lure.
I promptly changed from my hard body lure, to a soft plastic similar to the one Brett was using.
And started to miss some fish... While Brett got another one.
Brett remarked that every time that a Barramundi was hitting my lure, I was trying to set the hook, like if I was Trout fishing. He showed me a better technic for Barramundi. Old habit are sometimes hard too lose, but I tried as best as I could.
Finally I got one, this was the third fish to come exactly from the same snag.

My first Barramundi of the weekend.

Sadly none of them were big enough to keep. 
Still it was great fun, and we finally started to get some action.
We joked about the fact that this is where we should have come on the first day. But how would have we been able to know that?
This was a great little creek, with some very calm water, and a beautiful morning light.

Little creek with view on Bynoe Harbour.

In the end, we got out of the creek, and just fished the harbour flats.
In some spot, we could see the Barramundi and were casting to them. But they spook very easily and were hard to fool. I changed lure, and put on my favourite walk the dog lure, the DUO Realis Pencil, and this time I used a black one, instead of the white one that I usually use.
It worked very well, first because it gave me a bit more casting distance than the soft plastic lure that I was using previously, and second because it caught me two other Barramundi.

Barramuni on top water lure.

These fish were a bit better than the first one I got, and in retrospect, I should have kept one, but they all went back in the water. The positive about it, is that they should be bigger the next time that we meet, says my optimist side.

At one point, I flicked my lure against some rocks on the shore, and started to bring it back toward me, when a small Mangrove Jack had a go at it. And he did try to hit it a few time and followed the lure mid way to the boat. Brett said, cast in the same spot, he might try again and maybe you will get it this time. 
So I did just that and dropped my lure in roughly the same spot, and as soon as I started to impart a bit of action to it, we saw a nice bow wave moving from the left in direct line for my lure.
How exciting! Well it is exciting until the head of a little crocodile comes up out of the water while still moving in the direction of the lure.
So I speeded up my retrieve to make sure that he would not chomp on it. After all I like this lure.
The young crocodile tried to race it to the boat.
He then looked at us for a little while before calmly swimming back to its hiding spot near the rocky shore.
At least it gave me a great opportunity to photograph it:

Juvenile Salt Water crocodile.

Cute as a button, a crocodile button.

The baby crocodile going back to his home.

Yes I know, that is a lot of photos for a small crocodile. But that was so exciting to see it coming so close to us, and not being afraid, maybe the insouciance of youth was at play there.
It is actually the first time that I got to see a small crocodile that was so confident. I just hoped that mama croc was not too close.

So we moved a bit further away.
And I got another small Barra on the surface lure:

Barramundi on the DUO Realis Pencil 110.

I think that my favourite way to catch a Barramuni is on a surface lure.
The boof, of the feeding Barramundi, is really something to see.

We saw a small group of Threadfin Salmon cruising the flat, Brett casted a bit in front of them, and reeled his lure past them. They all followed, one had a go at it but missed, a second one took the opportunity and smashed the lure, Brett was on:

Brett and the Threadfin Salmon

It was definitively of the right size to eat, but was released too.

By now it was nearly midday, and we wanted to be back in the city early, so we made our way back to the ramp, and to Darwin.

Boat on the ramp, ready to go back home.

I would like to thank the FFF for organising the Seadogs fishing competition, and Hooked-Up Boat Hire for being such a generous sponsor.
I had a really good weekend on their boat, and their service is very friendly. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.

It was a great weekend, even if I am yet to see the mouth of the South Alligator River.

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,
Me.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2015 Top End Barra Series Round 3

Hi there,

Some time ago was the third round of the 2015 Top End Barra Series.
And it was great fun.
  • For this round we fished the Daly River.
  • We got all our fish on soft plastic lures.
  • We did much better than last year in the same round.
This year the third round of the Series was taking place on the mighty Daly River.
With the memory of the big fat donut that we had scored last year in the Daly round, Brett and I teamed up again, with the hope of doing better this year.
And better we did.

We left Darwin on the Friday afternoon, so we could have a little pre-fish on Friday evening, and start early on the Saturday morning, once the friendly competition was started.
As soon as we got on the water, we were reminded that in now ways, this is a river in which you go for a swim. The number of crocodile in there is just incredible.

A fresh water crocodile in the Daly River.

A Jabiru and a salt water crocodile at the Daly River.

The fresh water crocodile also known as Crocodylus johnsoni or Crocodylus johnstoni and the salt water crocodile or Crocodylus porosus, are two very different species, found in the Daly River. The salt water specie being the most dangerous one.
Yet, this should not makes us forget how beautiful this big river is:

Bank of the Daly River.

I don't fish this river very often, maybe once or twice a year if I am lucky. But I really like going fishing there, and there is always the possibility of catching a big Barramundi in the Daly.
But in the cold morning, the first thing that I caught, was not a big Barramundi.
It wasn't even a fish!
I got my line tangled in the propeller of the electric motor...

First catch of the trip for me.

What a shame job that was...
But hey, it could be worse...
And in fact, not very long after that casting a soft plastic lure against the bank, I finally got my first Barra for the round:

First Barramundi of the round three.

At 52cm, this was going be my smallest fish of the weekend. Yet it was enough to get me on the board, and I was very happy with that. Not knowing yet that this was going to be my only fish for the first day.
Just a bit further from where I had caught this fish, we saw another salt water crocodile on the bank:

Salt water crocodile on the river bank.

This one was on a very step bank, and is a good reminder, that in some place, it is better not to get out of the boat for a walk on the bank.

With the action on the fishing front being a bit slow, we caught up with some other participants in this very social competition, and had a midday raft up:

Rafting up on the Daly River.

Raft up are an integral element of the Top End Barra Series, and is part of what keeps it such a friendly and social event. It is a time to share fishing tales, and other banter, with various people, most of them addicted to fishing.

We did try to get a fish after that, but it was hard fishing.
Brett did get his first fish for the round too, on a vibe:

Brett's first Barramundi of the weekend.

Now we both had a fish under our respective names, and no donut on the boat, we could start to relax.
This was near a pile of big snags, where a few grey nomads were fishing with cherabin (Large fresh water prawns) and pulling some good fish from the said snags. This looked like a good spot, but too many people were already on it, we decided to keep it in mind for the next day.

Moving a bit upstream, we did find a spot full of small Barramundi. Brett actually managed to get maybe twenty of them, all from the same snag. But alas, they were all very small juvenile fish. Yet they were great fun and we enjoyed the action, after a day of rather quiet fishing. We even saw a big Mangrove Jack coming after the little Barramundi. 

Brett catching one of the many little Barramundi.

This was fun but with the evening light descending upon us we decided to head to camp. Have a shower, and a great roast for dinner, served at the Banyan Farm.

On the Sunday morning, we decided to try our luck a bit closer than where we had been down on the river the previous day. And that was going to be a good move. We went back to the big pile of snags where Brett had got his fish on the Saturday. This time no one was there yet, we had the place for ourselves. 

Among the snags, just behind an half submerged tree trunk, was a nice little colour change in the water. This is where I wanted to flick my lure:

Snag and colour change.

Just in the shade, the colour of the water was changing, due to the little creek entering the big river.
This spot looked really attractive to me, but also like a fishing lure grave yard.
So I decided to use a weedless plastic lure, that look a bit like a cherabin, to try to emulate the success the grey nomads were having the day before. 
I also decided to use my Ugly Stick fishing rod, instead to my more fragile St-Croix. The reason being that I was thinking that if I was to get lucky enough to hook a fish in there, I wanted to be able to high stick the rod, to try to get it out of the treacherous snags as quick as possible. Before it get the time to rub my line on all the underwater branches and cut it. It was going to affect my casting distance, but in this case, I didn't need to flick my lure very far.
The combination of the heavy rod and a weedless cherabin lookalike lure proven successful as I quickly got a hit. Sadly it didn't connect properly and the fish was lost in less than two second.
Yet, it proved to me, that this was the right gears in the right spot, so I persevered.

It finally happened, and the hit came fast and brutal.
I shouted that I was on and raised my fishing rod as high as I could, reeling in at the same time.
Still, there was this half submerged tree trunk between us on the boat, and the fish in the water.
Brett, quickly put the front of the boat on the first branch of the trunk, grabbed his net, and extended the handle to the maximum. It just reached behind the last branch in the water. The Barramundi was trying to dive under the branch, but putting my finger on the spool, and raising my fishing rod over my head, all the while screaming that "He's going to get break my line!!!"
But we managed to slide this fish in the net, and Brett brought it to the boat.

Barramundi plugged from the snags.

At 69cm it was going to be my best Barramundi for the weekend.
And seeing where it came from, made me very happy.

Seeing the result, Brett quickly put a similar lure at the end of his line, albeit in a different colour, and  started to cast in the same spot.
And the same thing happened.
First a hit that didn't deliver.
Then a solid hook up and a fish in the boat!

Brett's second point scorer Barramundi of the weekend.

It looked that we had found the right spot.
Sadly, no more fish were to be had from this very snag.
But all was not lost, as we both got fish about one hundred meters from there.

As we were moving just a little bit downstream, Brett started to use a vibe lure again, but it got snagged at the bottom and he lost the lure.
After putting another vibe on, he continued to cast toward the same snag, being persuaded that a fish might be in it...
And he did snag something, but it wasn't a fish.
It was the lure that he had just lost, and he got it back!

Brett and his vibe that caught the lost vibe.

About one hundred meters from where we had caught some fish, there was a smaller snag where we saw a fly fisherman caught a Barramundi earlier in the day.
We started to cast to it, and Brett soon came up with the good, his third fish for the third round:

Brett's third Barramundi for the round.

As we were still casting vibe lures to this small snag, I thought that I should try to do a few cast toward the middle of the river, just in case a big mama Barramundi was cruising past with the tide.
And on the second or third cast my line came tense, and started to peel from my reel.
Yes it had worked, I had found a passing fish.
It was not the big mama that I had hoped for, yet it was still a decent fish that made me very happy:

My last Barramundi of the weekend.

This one came in at 63cm, enough to get me a good score in this round.

But it was already early afternoon, and we decided to have a quick look at the spot where we had fun with all the babies Barra on the previous day. 
With the difference in tide, the action was not has ferocious as it had been, but it was still great fun, and we still had hop that a big Barra was among them.
In fact a very nice one came and swam behind Brett's lure, but didn't take it.

So we decided to go back, clean the camp and go home.

The Banyan Farm boat ramp.

For this round, we stayed in a cabin at the Banyan Farm, where we also had our dinner.
This is a great place to stay, and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. The staff there is very friendly and welcoming, the food is great and at a reasonable price, the cabins and the camping grounds are very pleasant. They even have a swimming pool now, so after a long day fishing it is a really good place to unwind.
Thank you Brett for inviting me on your boat.

I alway love fishing on the Daly river, even if it is not alway an easy place to fish.
And now I might have to wait for another year, before I am back there.

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,
Me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Fishing Darwin Harbour In Cold Weather.

Hi there,

After talking about it for so long, Ozdodge and I finally went fishing on Darwin Harbour.
And the water was very cold...

  • It was my first time fishing with Ozdodge.
  • We fished Darwin Harbour.
  • We got a few small fish.
  • It was a great day on the water.
Ozdodge and I had talked about going fishing together for a while, but never found the time to do it.
Finally, the planets aligned just right and on a Saturday I received a phone call that went a bit like this: Hey, it's Ozdodge here, do you want to go fishing on the harbour tomorrow?
He didn't need to twist my arms, I said yes.

It is alway interesting to go fishing with someone you have never fished before, as it is the time to learn some new things. And, it often seems that there is alway something new to learn, about the art of catching a fish.

So on the harbour we went, the water was rather cold at 24 degrees celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit).
We were wondering if we would be able to find some Barramundi in such cold waters.
On the first spot that we trolled, it didn't take long for Ozdodge to come up with a little fish:

Ozdodge with the first fish of the day.

This was a little Trevally, and it was promptly released.
There is nothing like the first fish to lift the spirit of a fishing party, even when it is a little one.
As they say, a fish is a fish.

But not getting anything else there, we moved to a nice little creek:

Trolling a muddy creek.

That creek was full of bait, and this made us think that we had found the right spot.
but after a few troll for not much, We started to wonder about that. So I put my rod in the rod holder, and jumped on the cast desk, with another fishing rod in hand. Determined to flick at every little drain that we would pass.
As I am busy focusing on the little drains, Ozdodge call came in: You are on!
I look at my rod at the back of the boat, and yes effectively, the rod buckle down and something is obviously trying to pull the line out of the reel.
I jump back toward the stern of the boat with my flicking rod still in one hand, by the time I am about to pick up the bent rod, the line went limp... Too late... So I still grab the rod, just above the handle to check if the lure is still swimming properly. And bang a sharp and quick little jerk in the rod made me realise that something was still at the end of my line. But alas, that was the last I felt of it, because in this little jerk, it must have managed to spat the lure. 
And nothing more happened in this creek.

Ozdodge decided that we should try our chance in the next creek, and that was a good call...
We arrived to a miniature rock bar, where I was advised to drop the anchor. 
How big was the structure?
This big:

Mini rock bar in the mud.

This is the place where we were to pick up all of our Barramundi for the day.
After his second or third cast Ozdodge was on to a nice little Barramundi:

Ozdodge first Barramundi of the day.

It wasn't really a monster one, but it was the targeted species for the day, so the mission was accomplished. Well, except that it was now a two fish to nile in favour of my skipper.
It was time for me to wake up.
So I caught a Barramundi too. Not a big one but this one was mine, and was the first I got in about a month.

My first Barramundi of the day.

I got happy with that. We now both had caught a Barramundi, and from now on, everything else was going to be a bonus.
And what a bonus did Ozdodge took!

Another Barra for Ozdodge.

And to show me that it wasn't just a fluke, he nearly immediately repeated the effort:

Ozdodge and his third Barramundi of the trip.

I was starting to think that I was receiving a lesson in Barramundi fishing.
Near all of the Barramundi come from the very same spot, in a radius of a few centimetres. 
Obviously, they like this spot.
Trying to be as best a student as I could be, I finally caught another little Barra.

My last Barra of the day.

This one was rather small, and nearly on the cute side of thing, as what cute can be for a Barramundi.
I had caught my two fish on the same lure, the Reidy's Junior B52, a lure that I really like.

Barramundi and Reidy's Junior B52.

So to not be left behind, Ozdodge didn't wast any time in getting the last Barramundi of the day.

Ozdodge with the last Barramundi of the day.

The action died after that, but that was six Barramundi from the same spot, in a very short amount of time. So in my book, a good spot.
we wanted to be home early, so we started to make our way back.
Just stoping at a last spot, for a few quick casts, while drifting.
There I got a baby Rock Cod, which had totally inhaled my lure.
It was released at the side of the boat, to try to minimise its time out of the water.
Then I hooked something that pulled much better. But on the first jump I saw that it wasn't a Barramundi, it was a Tarpon. I played it a bit near the boat, until he made a beautiful jump. Shake all over and spat a soft plastic lure that had been broken in two.
Ozdodge quickly flicked his lure in roughly the same spot and off course, you guessed it, got another Tarpon.

Ozdodge fight a little Tarpon.

He managed to do better than I and boated his fish.

Ozdodge's Tarpon.

By Darwin standard, this was a nice Tarpon. And when your Tarpon is bigger than your Barramundi, you know that you have been catching some teenage Barra.
Yet it had been a great day on the water.
With plenty of little fish for the relatively short time that we spent fishing.
On this day, all of our fish  have been released.
Thank you Ozdodge for inviting me on your boat, showing me your fishing spots, and telling which type of lures work on them. It is always nice to learn some fishing tips.

And yes, I know. Once again, I got totally out fished.

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,
Me.